Established by the Public Works Historical Society, the Abel Wolman Award recognizes the single best new book published in the field of public works history. This award is intended to provide encouragement and recognition to historians whose research and publications have made outstanding contributions to the history of public works.


Books published in the prior calendar year covering one or more public works topic are eligible. Public works is defined as the physical structures and facilities that are developed, owned, and operated by public agencies to house governmental functions and provide water, power, waste disposal, transportation, and similar public services.


The selection committee is comprised of professional historians and public works practitioners appointed by the Public Works Historical Society.


The criteria used in the selection process include:
  •     Academic significance to the historical community.
  •     Practical application to the public works profession.
  •     Dissemination of information not provided by other means.
  •     Unique or innovative presentation of topic.


Individual authors or their publishers may submit a book for consideration. Nomination submittals must include four copies of the publication and any supporting documentation, along with the nomination form. Materials should be sent to APWA headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri.  Nomination Information.


The deadline for submission of nominations for publications copyrighted in 2011 is March 31, 2012.


The award is presented to the author at the Society's annual luncheon held in conjunction with the International Public Works Congress & Exposition sponsored by APWA.